by Gregory Benford
ISBN 1-85723-724-2
(Orbit / Little, Brown and Company UK)

Book cover

Set on the Earth in the world of real science this book provides an introduction to particle physics and cosmology (including diagrams). The two main institutions are the Brookhaven National Accelerator Laboratory in New York, and the author's home institution, the University of California at Irvine. The author, a physicist himself, provides a profound insight into social interactions in the world of science. "This is a world in which intellect, passion and politics collide. This is the world of real science."

"On an otherwise ordinary day not long from now, inside a massive installation of ultra-high-energy scientific equipment, something goes wrong with a brilliant young physicist's most ambitious experiment. But this apparent set-back will soon be regarded as one of the most significant breakthroughs in the history of mankind.

For the explosion has left something behind: a perfect sphere the size of a basketball, made of nothing known to science.

And when the physicist discovers the secret it holds, she names it 'cosm'. "